Lance Armstrong to Be Banned For Life From Cycling

August 24, 2012 at 9:00 am (Anti-Doping, Cycling, Doping, France, Lance Armstrong, Sports, Steroids, Tour de France, USADA)

The heartwarming feel-good sports story of the past couple of decades closes on a rather depressing note today.

Lance Armstrong has abandoned the fight against doping charges during his incredible cycling career between 1999-2005.

The man who overcame life-threatening testicular cancer to do the unthinkable, winning seven straight Tours de France, will be stripped of his titles and banned from the sport of cycling for life.

U.S. Anti-Doping Agency chief executive Travis Tygart says the agency will ban Lance Armstrong from cycling for life and strip him of his seven Tour de France titles for doping.

Armstrong on Thursday night dropped any further challenges to USADA’s allegations that he took performance-enhancing drugs to win cycling’s premier event from 1999-2005.

Armstrong says USADA doesn’t have the authority to vacate his Tour titles. However, Tygart told The Associated Press that USADA can do it.

Armstrong will continue to say that this is not an admission of guilt, but rather a desire to avoid an arbitration process he deems unfair.  But the evidence suggests otherwise.

The 40-year-old Armstrong walked away from the sport in 2011 without being charged after a two-year federal criminal investigation into many of the same accusations he faces from USADA. The federal probe was closed in February, but USADA announced in June it had evidence Armstrong used banned substances and methods — and encouraged their use by teammates. The agency also said it had blood tests from 2009 and 2010 that were “fully consistent” with blood doping.

Tygart added:

“It is a sad day for all of us who love sport and athletes,” Tygart said. “It’s a heartbreaking example of win at all costs overtaking the fair and safe option. There’s no success in cheating to win.”

It is indeed a sad day in sports, and yet another reminder that holding athletes up to heroic standards has its perils.  Nobody – nobody can be assumed clean during the steroid era in sports.

Advertisements

Permalink Leave a Comment

So Much For the Refreshingly Honest Admission by Melky Cabrera

August 19, 2012 at 12:39 pm (Dishonesty, Fake Website, Lying, Major League Baseball, Melky Cabrera, MLB, San Francisco Giants, Steroids, Suspension)

When San Francisco Giants All-Star outfielder Melky Cabrera was recently caught with a positive test for performance enhancing drugs, and was hit with a subsequent 50-game suspension, he flatly admitted his transgression.

The approach was refreshing, with many in the media saying that “at least he admitted to it”, as opposed to so many stars in the past who have concocted elaborate stories in an attempt to muddy the waters of guilt.

Here is an example from SB Nation:

Typically a player will say that the results of the test were tainted. Perhaps he didn’t realize what he had taken. Plans to appeal the decision are often thrown around at this point to at least create an opening in the court of public opinion for the most diehard fans — so at least a tiny section of Pac Bell Park will say, “I just don’t believe he really did it.”

Instead Cabrera went the direct route. He was honest, concise and vulnerable. He said he did it, offered an apology to all parties involved and went silently into the suspended night.

It was the right move and one that might save his reputation in the end.

Well that didn’t last mong.

So much for honesty…

San Francisco Giants star outfielder Melky Cabrera mounted a campaign to avoid his 50-game suspension that included a fake website featuring a fictitious product in an effort that was quickly uncovered by MLB investigators, the New York Daily News has reported.

Citing an anonymous source close to the case and an associate who told the newspaper he was “accepting responsibility for what everyone else already knows” concerning the fake site, the Daily News reported famed investigator Jeff Novitzky and agents from MLB’s investigative arm have begun looking more closely at Cabrera and the scheme purportedly hatched in July as they seek the source of the synthetic testosterone found in his urine.

“There was a product they said caused this positive,” the source told the Daily News. “Baseball figured out the ruse pretty quickly.”

The purpose was to fool MLB and the players’ union, while presenting them with the website and resulting phony product information, into believing Cabrera had ordered a supplement fraudulently spiked with testosterone, therefore causing the positive drug test, the report says.

So we’ve now gone from refreshingly honest, and the possibility that Melky may have saved his reputation by being truthful, to discovering one of the most elaborate schemes to avoid suspension since the implementation of the stricter steroid policy.

It is a cautionary tale for those who want so desperately to believe in their hero-athletes.  Nothing is as it seems…

Permalink Leave a Comment

MLB Announcer Tim McCarver Cites Global Warming as the Reason For More Home Runs

April 28, 2012 at 4:06 pm (Baseball, Climatic Changes, Global Warming, Joe Buck, Milwaukee Brewers, MLB, St. Louis Cardinals, Steroids, Tim McCarver)

The only thin air that’s causing problems in Major League Baseball is the thin air between McCarver’s ears.

Anybody who has watched baseball over the last 50 years (the timeframe McCarver refers to in the video clip below) realizes that the most significant factor contributing to the increase in home runs has been steroid use.  There were well over 80 players with 40 or more home runs in a single season during the steroid era, which was by far more than any other era in baseball history.  Since the new steroid rules have been enacted, that number has dropped down again to about 50.

McCarver however, thinks that more home runs are caused by thinning air due to global warming…

Via The Quinton Report:

For one last bit of confirmation for anyone not sure that Tim McCarver is an idiot…

McCarver blamed global warming for more home runs in baseball during a Major League Baseball game between the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium this afternoon.

Hackbarth has the transcript here…

Tim McCarver: “[T]he air is thinning…. There have been climatic changes over the last 50 years…. I think that’s one of the reasons balls are carrying much better now.”

Joe Buck [Fox Sports play-by-play announcer]: “So that’s your ‘inconvenient truth’ about it?”

McCarver: “You’re going to find it out one of these days, yes.”

00000000154c53c2 by bubbaprog

Permalink Leave a Comment